Preface by Rev. Dr. Stephen Tong
Shortly before a senior Pastor passed away, I briefly visited him and asked him, “Reverend, after you go where your church is going after a long period of confusion, he then replies, I don’t know where this church is going.
Is that a situation that’s also in your church? That’s the situation that exists in our day. In the early 21st century, outside the church we saw a current of thought tinged by the philosophy of the NewAge Movement and Post-modernism threatening the Christian faith. Meanwhile, in the church, Christians themselves no longer heed the word of God, but merely satisfy themselves by regarding devotional events solely as a means of entertainment.
Is there anyone who mourns the condition of these children of God now? Where are prophets like Jeremiah, who saw the plagues waiting for the house of Israel? Where are voices like John the Baptist who dared to rebuke the sinful king?
Has not our country called Pancasila state expressed its inability to live all religious principles, whether chastity, justice or love in public life? What is the function of the church? Where are our voices as children of God? Who has responsible faith? Who still preaches the gospel to others?
May God bless this book and open up the understanding of all of us to dive into a movement where we see there are footprints of God and the leader of the Holy Spirit in it. Amin.
Before this movement
In the mid-20th century, the new World of Christianity experienced little relief from the difficulties posed by World War II. Eastern Europe has fallen into communism. Western Europe is beset by secularism. Missionary sedation began to shift from mainland Europe to North America. Meanwhile, the church in America must confront the development of liberalism that is very life-threatening to traditional Christianity.
The most recent theologies, for example: Demitologization sought to rival neo-Orthodox from the Barthian wing to denounce evangelical beliefs. At such a time, churches in Asia are asleep in the stage of ignoring theology, although the spiritual movement gifted by God has yielded a lot of fruit especially in Southeast Asia and China. The result of revival services led by John Sung, Andrew Gih, has given rise to many full-timers serving God and the growing evangelism teams here have stirred the national spirit in Asian countries.
But the Oikumene movement, which ignored Orthodoxy and spread the spirit of tolerance for all sorts of new traditions, coupled with the Charismatic movement that had replaced the traditional Pentecostal movement to overhaul the mind structure of denominational churches, then there were waves of laymen who did not understand the theology of preaching the gospel and established churches without the Confession of Faith, without liturgy, even without appreciating the glorious music inherited from history.
In the 70s and 80s when evangelicals saw the dangers of inequality, the student movement in Southeast Asia began to be resurrected, including the Crossing Movement and campus Crusade (KKR Kampus). But theological strongholds, namely the places where the education of the servants of God do not have enough power to maintain the faith of orthodox beliefs. This is why there was a movement to establish theological schools outside the lines of conventional institutions. History proves these kinds of schools are less weighty in maintaining true theology and responsible and correct understanding of Scripture. That is why many of the Lord’s servants graduate from these kinds of schools difficult to accept the challenges of the times let alone challenge the times, especially in the face of intellectuals.
On the other hand, the revival of religions outside Christianity is also a major challenge to the Christian faith. The growing number of scholars in other religions and the consolidating awareness among their believers is also a fact we cannot ignore. In addition, the increasing education and the growing influence of modem philosophy in Asian countries has resulted in the possibility that the Christian faith, with its under-weighted leadership, will become underdeveloped and harassed by a new generation. Looking at such situations, who is prepared to accept this challenge and fill the needs of the times in the late 20th century?
The quantities obtained through the movement circulating among the commoners do not provide enough answers to the challenges of this era. By being dissatisfied, both to the insanity of today’s Christian teaching, and the inability of both liberalism and the emotionally winged Christian movement to represent true Christianity, we consider the need for an Evangelical Reformed Movement.
This movement is in the transition of agricultural society (agriculture) to industrial and towards informative. That’s why it’s not easy to follow an unusual person with the awesomeness of this transitional wave, let alone this Movement against the currents that co-ed to the spirit pioneered in the 16th century. The movement is motivated to bring Christianity into the 21st century. This is why it is not surprising that this movement is judged to be too retarded or against the current.
Evangelical Reformed Movement in History
The reformation that took place in the 16th century was a unique and unparalleled movement because the motivation of the reformation was to return to scripture and confess all things by grace, and only by faith and not the merits of the chosen people called to be witnesses of God in this world. The Church is called not only to preach the gospel and preach the truth, it is also called to carry out cultural mandates through enlightenment from god’s Word to enlighten the world, with the principles of God’s Word into all aspects of culture.
In all facets of human life, particularly in Calvinism, history has proven its contribution from personal life to society and education, even pioneering democracy around the world. At a time when the influence of Liberalism was expanding and undermining the Christian faith in the 19th century, Reformed theologians steadfastly stood at the front (the front line at the forefront of countering teachings disloyal to scripture. So both in Europe and in America, the most weighty books fighting liberal teachings are mostly the result of the hands of Reformed theologians. It is this reformed theological spirit that has kept Christianity from all the misappropriation and infidelity of the church as the bride of Christ who is unfaithful to God.
Such figures as Abraham Kuyper, Herman Bavinck, Hendrik Kramer in the Netherlands and Charles Hodge, Archibald Hodge, B.B. Warfield. Gresham Machen, Cornelius Van Til, John Murray, etc. have proven their uncompromising spirit derived from Johannes Calvin. The discovery of common grace and the uniqueness of the general understanding of revelation have been the hallmarks and hallmarks of the Evangelical Reformed in addressing cultural issues as well as enlightening and guidance to all the most important scientific discoveries, as well as changing the flow of the mind until the new age and postmodern times. No one can ignore what Reformed theology has done throughout history. Reformed Theology provides one of the most test-enduring and superior theologies to lead Christians through the wars of faith and to guide the future of mankind.
Evangelical Reformed Movement Calls
Aren’t many church leaders who have been educated at Reformed theological schools in America, the Netherlands, and other places already in the field of ministry in Indonesia? Aren’t those who are supposed to bring the church to the reformed spirit and raise the consciousness of Christians to keep the faith of faith that is brought down to us and fight in a world full of thoughts that are quite opposite to Scripture?
After waiting about 20 years I felt like I could no longer wait, although since 1964 I have decided to teach reformed doctrine at the theology school I serve and form reformed minds for students, but this call only became clear and urgent after I got Hepatitis B disease in 1984.
Life is temporary. Although I have served for 27 years, but through the understanding of such lever diseases, I feel it may be 15-20 years to survive in this world. So immediately I did not wait for others and prayed earnestly I gave myself up once again to uphold the Evangelical Reformed Movement in Indonesia. I ask God that in the 15 years before the end of the 21st century a group of young people have been established who understand and realize the importance of the Reformed lnjili movement and are willing to serve and sacrifice in this day and age.
The response to this call had received the blessing of God until 1984 began the first step, which was to boldly hold a Christian Faith Coaching Seminar (SPIK) to pioneer reformed doctrine. Beyond the expectations of the audience rnakin long more and more and with great enthusiasm, received the doctrine of Reformed taught.
The SPIK movement that started from 1984 has become a movement that has not withered until now, both in Indonesia and abroad. Those who are made aware of the decision to study the Doctrine of Reformed further. Thus the second step in this call was the establishment of the School of Evangelical Reformed Theology for the laity in 1986.
What is the content of the Evangelical Reformed Movement
This movement covers two aspects. The first aspect, restoring the understanding of theology based on God’s revelation in scripture pioneered by the Reformers, especially the calvinism wing and its successors to the present day. With this strict theology, derived from the meanings stored in scripture, it is this theology that will equip and strengthen the faith of Christians in the face of the challenges of all times. While the second aspect is to promote the spirit of evangelism and mobilize Christians directly preaching the gospel which is good news for mankind, introducing the power of salvation through the death and resurrection of Christ to the remission of sins and human peace with the Lord God thus creating a barn life that glorifies God, testifies to Christ, and preaches the gospel. Thus this movement brought the church into the root of God’s Word and came to fruition in this world.
What is called the Evangelical Reformed Movement
The movement is different from the organization. It is a kind of fire and spiritual spirit that flares up and burns a group of people so that it becomes an influence on other personal beings to see, acknowledge, perform and carry out an important task to change history. Quality historical movements always have consistent theories, agile strategies, complete devotion and loyal followers and lasting influences, both in the secular and spiritual fields, the above elements can be clearly seen. Therefore the Evangelical Reformed Movement must also ask the Lord to give help and blessings in important matters. We believe that the motivation of this movement is purely based on God’s calling and the needs of the times and the ongoing life of faith as a Christian in history. So clearly we see God bestowIng His blessings in both inclusion and anointing, especially evoking the persons blazed by the fire of the Holy Ghost. Soli Deo Gloria (All Glory is only for God).
What is the Uniqueness of This Movement?
The Reformed Iniili movement is different from the church and the Evangelical Reformed denomination. The Evangelical Reformed Movement may be an impetus for every denomination and may belong to any non-Reformed church, so that churches are awakened and directed to true theology and true evangelical spirit. But the Evangelical Reformed Movement did not rule out the possibility that God’s theologians could establish the Evangelical Reformed church as one of the vessels in the Kingdom of God, which accompanies other churches to perform their duties as the body of Christ.
How did this movement start?
The steps of this Movement have been led by God through the obedience of His servants. So we planned (For Reformed Theology) first, forming as many masses as possible who were aware of and experiencing evangelical Reformed teaching. It’s in SPIK form. Second, filter and acquire a group of laypeople who demand and learn systematically and consistently in Reformed theology. It’s in the form of STRI. Third. established a library that provides quality books to fill the needs of people who are more pursuing the truth and believe that this movement is universal and influential in history. Fourth, establish a theology school, the Institute, to prepare full-timer (full-time) workers for future generations. Fifth, with the correct theology establishing churches and gospel outposts to be a place where servants of God can boldly teach Reformed theology and shepherd god’s chosen people. Sixth, translate and print Reformed theological books.
While in terms of evangelism, we first conduct mass evangelism and directly confront the needs of society and teach people to repent and become Christians. Second, we conduct evangelism discipleship to train people who feel called to expand the Kingdom of God through personal evangelism. Thus mobilize Christians to become a channel of God’s gift to society. Third, train full-timer evangelists (full-time) in theological school to prepare the current and specially charged servants of God in evangelism. Fourth, to provide gospel outposts to accommodate the fruits of evangelism leading to the life of grazing and the church.
Who is in this movement?
This movement is not monopolized by the servants of God full-time, nor is it monopolized by GRII, because Reformed theology and evangelism in the Evangelical Reformed Movement are internal cores and external actions that should exist in all churches, so anyone who is Christian after being played by the Holy Spirit and baptized into God, has the right to share in the Evangelical Reformed Movement. If God leads, then such passionate and theological Christians, may freely, on their own willingness, join the Evangelical Reformed Institute, the Evangelical Reformed Institute, even GRII. Everyone who shares in this movement must realize and understand the evangelical Reformed faith recognition and willingly work with the Evangelical Reformed to develop this movement in order to glorify God and purify the faith of the church and wage the spirit of the Great Mandate until Christ comes back.
GRII and the Evangelical Reformed Movement
GRII was founded on the basis of evangelical Reformed faith recognition with the aim of establishing a church of Reformed theology, expository, and congregational preaching the gospel. This church is part of the body of Christ among all the gerja whose teachings are correct to carry out the duties of the church in this world. GRII members consist of: first, direct evangelism results that receive God and are baptized into GRII. Second, from church members abroad or abroad who moved to the city where GRII existed then on request and willingness to become members of the atestasi through catechization. Third, the children of members promised by parents who are willing to educate them based on the Christian faith. Fourth, the transfer of other church members who follow lawful procedures.
Among grii members who feel the importance of the Evangelical Reformed movement and have the burden of the Lord’s call to enter into this movement, then they will be given the opportunity to follow the ministry so that through observation, training and screening, some become workers who serve more. The board consists of those who have passed the level of service that is considered sufficient rnatang. Every Christian who realizes and understands the Evangelical Reformed Movement should have a positive influence both in churchwi’s life and in society and in the country.
The Prospect of This Movement
Through the Evangelical Reformed faith, we expect the number of churches to return to the right direction, and more and more churches to take the plunge in carrying out the great mandate. Thus, STTRII, Reformed Institute, and STRI located in cities in Indonesia and abroad, will shoulder the opportunity to educate Christians in the introduction of Reformed theology as well as mobilize evangelism missions. While GRII hopes to be able to cultivate as many MRIs (Evangelical Reformed Pulpit) as possible everywhere in order to fill the needs and thirst of Christians towards the Word of God, reformed theology & evangelism exercises. We expect true theology to be the key to enlightenment for culture and life in this world, and through evangelism, bring our nation back to God. Because God said. “You are the light of the world, ye are the salt of the world.” In a 21st century already marked by the vibrant mass movement of the New Age, as well as the postmodern philosophical cultural movement, let’s shine the light of God’s Word like a beacon that brings all the lost kernbali to the eternal lap of God.
Taken from a booklet titled “Evangelical Reformed Movement −What? Why?” by Stephen Tong, published in 1999 in the context of the Indonesian Evangelical Reformed Church (GRII) by Momentum Publishers.